Thursday, January 10

La Befana Feste

This is our favorite Italian holiday - La Befana! La Befana is an old woman with a big nose that gives candy to good boys and girls & coal to the bad ones - sounds familiar! Urbania, our neighboring town, is the home of La Befana & there is a huge week-long celebration in her honor. Her name derives from the festival of Epiphany and she visits the children of Italy on the eve of 6 January to fill their socks! Many leave a glass of wine and a plate of food for la befana.

We love this feste because everyone comes out to celebrate - the streets are filled with tastey vendors peddling their artisanal goods - from spiced wine, seasoned pecorino & honey to the meats of the region; porchetta, cinghiale in all forms & prosciutto. We took home a wheel of cheese, a hunk of mortadello & wild boar sausages.
Late in the evening, after the band plays through town everyone gathers in the piazza to watch la befana descend from the bell tower into the crowd.

Both men & women dress as this old character and parade the streets night & day, sometimes even on stilts - its hysterical! Jason says that next year he will dress up for sure & I don't doubt it!

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